MPE controllers

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DeanG
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MPE controllers

Post by DeanG » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:21 pm

I have a sensel morph with a buchla thunder overlay. I have been working with it for a few days now and have requested to return it. It's a brilliant controller but the light touch required and absence of any tactile feedback misses what I'd hope to at least approximate. Which is the feel of my energy activating a physical interface similar to an acoustic instrument. There is no perceptible movement with the morph. The pads don't give me feedback despite the synth sound response which is nice. I had a QuNexus which had a little more meaty feel but it never really worked for me. I mainly explore textural spectral kinds of things with synths and I guess I am looking for a controller the can provide an analog to the sound.

Can anyone suggest other avenues to check out besides morph? I know there are other MPE instruments but morph is one of the affordable ones. And the Buchla Thunder overlay seemed promising but I guess I expected more. If other morph users can give me some insight that would also be helpful. While I am not a keyboardist I am starting to think a regular midi keyboard controller like Keystep might end up working better.
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Re: MPE controllers

Post by slumberjack » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:25 pm

I use a K-Board Pro4 and I like it, also the editor is browser based so I have no problems setting it up on any OS.
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Re: MPE controllers

Post by mmp » Wed Nov 18, 2020 12:44 pm

And for a different outlook, I sold my K-Board almost immediately for the lack of tactile feedback. IMO, I might as well have been playing linoleum tiles.

So far my favorites are the Roli Seaboard and the Haken Audio Continuum. Waiting on an Osmose.

I also sold my Linnstrument, but mostly because I don't think of chords in a guitaristic way. I thought it might be fun to go outside my keyboard centric muscle memory, but it was too time consuming a chore to work through. Not much give on that surface, either.

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Re: MPE controllers

Post by DeanG » Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:21 pm

I am a guitar player primarily, but when I use a guitar controller my thinking changes to tonal,nand my interest in synths isn't that. Even so I am somewhat considering the Artiphone Instrument 1 as it offers various configurations, but there again I don't know what the physical experience is.
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Re: MPE controllers

Post by 22tape » Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:18 pm

Same. I've tried them all and sent them back. I definitely prefer full size synth keys that have tactile action. Osmose is expensive, especially since I really just need the controller and not the engine.

Please, ASM, release the keyboard and ribbon from the Hydrasynth on its own, preferably with 61 keys! :guinness:

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Re: MPE controllers

Post by DeanG » Wed Nov 18, 2020 5:23 pm

Researched the "Artiphone instrument 1" some more. I guess not for me. Any thoughts here about keystep? I know it is rather ubiquitous but perhaps there's a reason for that. I really don't care if I can wiggle keys side to side for effect, that hasn't excited me so far. I guess I would rather bang on things.
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Re: MPE controllers

Post by sduck » Wed Nov 18, 2020 10:56 pm

The artiphon instrument 1 is an odd bird. It was developed locally, and I got slightly involved in its development and testing. And ended up getting one of the first ones. It's the kind of thing I like to take on road trips, with the idea that maybe this time I'll get the hang of using it, and find a use for it. But that never really happens. And I don't think it's MPE capable anyway so...

I bought a K-Boards Pro 4. I was actually one of the early kickstarter backers, and did the years of waiting for it. And yes, it's... underwhelming also. But sometimes, if I'm using it a lot, I kind of get the hang of it, and it starts to make sense. It kind of helps that I'm not really a keyboard player to any great degree, ot it would undoubtedly drive me crazy. I use it with the Kijimi and the Deckard's Dream, and it does work well for those.

I am also waiting on the Osmose. Unless it truly sucks it'll beat the snot out of the previous mentioned devices.
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Re: MPE controllers

Post by Randy » Thu Nov 19, 2020 11:05 pm

This is new and seems cool.

http://roli.com/products/blocks/lumi-ke ... io-edition

More lights is always a bonus (I think) but I like that you can build a controller in a modular fashion, including non-keyboard bits and adding more keyboards to get 2, 4 or whatever octaves. Not sure about using the advanced, MPE-style parameters with a modular 'though.

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Re: MPE controllers

Post by 22tape » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:11 am

Just a heads up that Lumi Keys have polyAT but not MPE like the Seaboards.

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Re: MPE controllers

Post by tIB » Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:43 am

Interesting that coming to the morph after the linnstrument (which I still use) I enjoyed it's greater tactile feedback - yes it's a flat surface (with some raised guides) but the material itself has more flex to it, meaning I can guage more from it in relation to my playing.

The linnstrument has very little flex, though over time you can become used to the pressure required, becoming tactile feedback of a sort. Ultimately I like them both very much, though am in for the long haul - must be a few years in with the linnstrument now.

I do understand the OP, though wonder if over an extended period of time you might find that tactile feedback develops, albeit probably not to the point you require - the continuum seems to be the one in that respect from what I have seen, though I've never played one myself.

The Osmose looks lovely and has _that_ sound engine - I didn't preorder as I had concerns about slide ability, which I love in MPE. In better times I'd have bought one to control via the linnstrument, though what I really hope for is someone to release the Eaganmatrix in standalone format.

Also, MPE is great - I do hope we see it become a standard among new synths.

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Re: MPE controllers

Post by Randy » Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:45 am

22tape wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:11 am
Just a heads up that Lumi Keys have polyAT but not MPE like the Seaboards.
The demos look that way but:

https://www.synthanatomy.com/2020/11/ro ... ition.html

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Re: MPE controllers

Post by 22tape » Fri Nov 20, 2020 11:42 am

Randy wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:45 am
22tape wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 2:11 am
Just a heads up that Lumi Keys have polyAT but not MPE like the Seaboards.
The demos look that way but:

https://www.synthanatomy.com/2020/11/ro ... ition.html
Oh that must be a new development, which is great!

From the Lumi Keys Kickstarter FAQ page--

"Unlike other ROLI instruments, LUMI Keys is not fully MIDI Polyphonic Expression (MPE) compatible."


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Re: MPE controllers

Post by DeanG » Fri Nov 20, 2020 5:08 pm

Lumi keys is so keyboardist oriented, what I mean is it seems directed at bringing almost guitar like techniques to the pianistic instrument. Which is cool, but as a guitarist myself I don't have much need for that. I think the same about the Osmose. My synth usage is less "musical" I guess. At any rate in my case I can't justify those expensive instruments..too serious for me. I am intersted in the Touche SE which is in the morph ballpark expense wise. It only has usb->pc midi connection so I would have to get a midi host to go computerless.
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Re: MPE controllers

Post by Randy » Fri Nov 20, 2020 5:56 pm

@22tape, you may be right 'though. Their site mentions it's MPE but it seems to be a very limited portion of MPE. They only mention per-key pitchbend and poly aftertouch, which to me is barely MPE.

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Re: MPE controllers

Post by Mitchk1989 » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:26 pm

honestly kinda hoping ableton comes out with some type of MPE/linnstrument inspired spin on the push for the third iteration now that they're pushing MPE.

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Re: MPE controllers

Post by vadimred13 » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:36 pm

22tape wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:18 pm
Please, ASM, release the keyboard and ribbon from the Hydrasynth on its own, preferably with 61 keys! :guinness:
I'd recommend just buying the Hydrasynth. I bought it for the keyboard/ribbon/poly AT, but now I really like the whole thing. Really great value, imo.

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Re: MPE controllers

Post by JES » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:41 pm

Really love my Linnstrument and combined with the right sound source it can accommodate a less-than-light touch. Also have a Roli keyboard and it’s much squishier and the y-axis is bigger, but I like it less.
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Re: MPE controllers

Post by 22tape » Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:23 pm

Randy wrote:
Fri Nov 20, 2020 5:56 pm
@22tape, you may be right 'though. Their site mentions it's MPE but it seems to be a very limited portion of MPE. They only mention per-key pitchbend and poly aftertouch, which to me is barely MPE.
:tu:

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Re: MPE controllers

Post by 22tape » Sun Nov 22, 2020 12:24 am

vadimred13 wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:36 pm
22tape wrote:
Wed Nov 18, 2020 2:18 pm
Please, ASM, release the keyboard and ribbon from the Hydrasynth on its own, preferably with 61 keys! :guinness:
I'd recommend just buying the Hydrasynth. I bought it for the keyboard/ribbon/poly AT, but now I really like the whole thing. Really great value, imo.
Oh believe me, my finger has been on the trigger for months! But I'm being pretty militant about not buying stuff I don't need, and I just don't need the synth. Now stop tempting me! :foul: :hihi:

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